Clorox, Netflix and Zoom see stocks rise alongside coronavirus fears

Clorox shares hit an all-time high last week as equity markets tanked.

While the coronavirus outbreak has contributed to significant short-term market declines and sewed economic uncertainty the world over, a handful of companies, including Clorox and Netflix, have seen their stocks rise.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average just suffered its worst week since the financial crash of 2008, yet during that stretch shares of Clorox reached an all-time high as demand for disinfectants boomed.

Meanwhile, as health officials warn of community spread in affected areas and have warned of people gathering in large groups, some analysts are encouraging investors to look into companies that provide at-home entertainment or work-at-home services.

Bill Smead, chief investment officer of Smead Capital Management, wrote in a note that “the market likes NFLX [Netflix] under the assumption that hibernation comes at a premium.”

The assumption that more people will be forced to stay at home, whether due to mass quarantines or simply out of fear, also is driving investors toward the stocks of e-commerce firms.

“E-commerce retailers could even benefit if consumers are forced to spend more time at home,” UBS analysts wrote in a report last Friday.

UBS analysts similarly recommended looking into streaming services, saying that streaming companies “are likely to prove to be more defensive, and potentially even beneficiaries, of more time being spent at home.”

Moreover, as a handful of major companies including Twitter have asked employees to work from home amid the outbreak, stocks of collaborative or teleconferencing tools, such as Slack and Zoom, have also soared over the past month.

Shares of telemedicine company Teledoc Health also have seen sharp gains.

As fear of a coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the nation, Americans have also been buying up face masks, hand sanitizer and oat milk at skyrocketing rates.

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